KLM Costa Rica flights to Liberia International Airport

KLM Costa Rica flights are being expanded to a second airport.  KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will commence service to Liberia, Costa Rica, on October 19, 2019. The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will depart Amsterdam Schipol Airport Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 11:35 a.m. and land at the Daniel Oduber Airport in Guanacaste at 8:10 p.m. after a 2-hour intermediate stop in San Jose 5:15-7:15 p.m. After just one hour on the ground, the plane will depart out of Liberia at 9:15 to begin the flight back to Amsterdam, arriving there at 1:20 p.m. the following day.

KLM to Guanacaste

KLM Costa Rica service began two years ago with flights to San Jose, but Pieter Elbers, CEO of KLM, explains why Liberia was added to their routes: “Guanacaste is the second largest region of Costa Rica. The region is known for its beautiful nature, which makes it a unique holiday destination in combination with San Jose. All this makes Guanacaste Liberia a valuable addition to our KLM network.”

KLM Costa Rica

“Amsterdam Schiphol airport is the third busiest airport in Europe in terms of passenger volume,” Elbers continued. “We are confident that this connection will increase visits to Guanacaste and will stimulate a new era of growth for the region.”

President of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado concurs. “Tourism is the engine of our economy, and this new connection represents an opportunity of growth not just for Guanacaste but also for Monteverde and La Fortuna, two destinations visited by those who arrive in Costa Rica through the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia.”

Playa Ocotal, Guanacaste

The flight’s intermediate stop in San Jose will give tourists the unique opporunity to start their vacation in one part of the country and end it in another. They will save time and money on ground transportation. So you can start your vacation at the beach and end it in the mountains, or the other way around!

Guanacaste Beaches

The aircraft used for the KLM Costa Rica flight is the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, a new aircraft designed to increase passenger comfort and also fuel efficiency. It features a 3-class configuration with 30 seats in World Business Class, 45 seats in Economy Comfort, and 219 seats in economy class.

The Dreamliner is a $120 million aircraft. CNN Travel lists a few of the reasons why the plane is special:
* It is made of 50% composite materials that make it lighter than other aircraft.
* More fuel efficient, allowing for longer ranges.
* The cabin pressure and humidity are higher than other airplanes cutting down on passenger fatigue, dry eyes and headaches, according to Boeing.
* There may not be more legroom in all classes compared to other airlines, but the cabin configuration feels roomier.
* Windows are 30% larger and have electronic dimmers rather than plastic shades.
* All seats have AC power outlets and On-Demand TV.
* On long-haul flights, the business class features lie-flat seats.

The flag carrier of the Netherlands currently serves more than 160 destinations worldwide. In an age of airline mergers and name changes, it is noteworthy that KLM, founded in 1919, is the oldest airline in the world still in operation under its original name. KLM’s performance in terms of fuel efficiency is one of the best in Europe.

Here’s a fun fact: The King of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, has been moonlighting as a KLM pilot since 1996. Despite talking over the intercom to passengers, no one has ever realized that the Dutch king was at the controls. “I speak on behalf of the captain and crew, so I don’t have to say my name,” says the king. “But then most people don’t listen anyway.”

King Fly KLM

Will royalty be piloting the Amsterdam to Liberia flight? Sadly, no. The king only flies short haul flights twice a month in case he needs to be able to return to the Netherlands “in case of an emergency.”

If you are a Mokummer and are thinking you might want to escape this year’s rainy winter and bathe in warm tropical sunshine, KLM Costa Rica is the answer.  Book your AMS-LIR flight now!

Uber in Costa Rica–Now Available in Playas del Coco

Uber in Costa Rica was born in August of 2015. Is it a good thing, a bad thing, or somewhere in between? It all depends on who you ask. Passengers love it and say it is much better and cheaper than taxis. One user reports, “Uber is the absolute cheapest way to get around (besides buses). We use Uber at least once every few weeks to go out to dinner if we want to have some drinks. It is cheap, reliable, and we have never had a bad experience.” Another Uber client provided this example. He took an Uber downtown in San Jose recently and it cost $5. When he went back home he took a taxi because his phone had died. The same route without traffic cost $26. With prices like these, it’s no wonder that in the first three years of operation, Uber in Costa Rica registered 738,000 users and contracted more than 22,000 drivers.

Uber in Costa Rica

However, if you ask a Costa Rican taxi driver, you’ll get a completely different opinion about Uber. Taxi drivers hate Uber! They contend that unlicensed private taxi services are not legal in Costa Rica. Last year they went on strike multiple times protesting Uber. They set up road blocks or organized hundreds of cabs to slow drive, impeding traffic on major highways. Confrontations and even violence have marred some of the protests. It has been reported that taxi drivers have identified Ubers in traffic, forced them to the curb, and taken out their frustrations on Uber cars with rocks and tire irons.

Taxi Costa Rica

Where does the government stand on Uber? In August 2018, the directors of the transportation ministry (MOPT) and traffic police announced the court’s decision that Uber and other ride sharing enterprises are illegal under current laws. Nevertheless, Uber continued operations and requested that the government consider changing the laws. After lengthy discussions, a bill was introduced on January 22, 2019 that would legalize Uber and similar ride sharing platforms, thus allowing them to coexist with taxis.

Uber in Guanacaste

Costa Rican president Alvarado explained: “As a Government we have the responsibility to work to ensure the well-being of all people. We are taking a step in that direction today, introducing a bill that regulates the digital transportation platforms such as Uber”. According to the transportation minister, Rodolfo Méndez Mata, Costa Rica must accept the reality of the new technologies and economic models that are already regulated in other parts of the world. Their comments seem to indicate that Uber is here to stay.

What was the outcome of the proposed legislation? According to the terms, Uber will be legally recognized if it meets the following requirements:
1. Pays a registration fee of almost $14,000,000.
2. All drivers register with the Costa Rican Social Security service (CCSS).
3. Pays 13% sales tax on all ride services.

Although Uber in Costa Rica has stated its willingness to pay taxes to operate legally, it has yet to comply with the government imposed regulations. So where does that leave the potential Uber passenger? Uber continues to operate and has even expanded to areas outside the Central Valley (San Jose) region. On April 15, 2019, it announced service in several tourist areas including Liberia, Nicoya, Manuel Antonio (Quepos) and Jacó. Ubers have been seen in Tamarindo and Playas del Coco, popular Guanacaste beach towns.

What does an Uber ride cost in Guanacaste? The rates for some recent rides:

Liberia to Liberia airport $9
Liberia Airport to Playas del Coco $18
Liberia to Playa Hermosa $25

These are substantially lower than the Red Taxis.

taxi

Uber in playa Hermosa Costa Rica

There are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to use Uber.
* The transit police usually ignore Ubers. However, if they do detain an Uber for operating illegally, passengers are usually told that they are free to go.
* If you request an Uber at the San Jose airport, it makes sense to avoid a conflict between the taxi drivers and Uber driver. So when you’re picked up, put some distance between yourself and the line of orange taxis.
* If you don’t know the exact address of your destination (that’s common in Costa Rica), choose a landmark nearby.

Follow these tips if you decide to use Uber in Costa Rica, and you’ll be on your way, inexpensively and conveniently, to fun in paradise.